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tv   Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy  CNN  February 14, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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it's hard to believe that just a few months ago the first wave of covid-19 had empty the streets of naples and italy was in lockdown. thankfully i've arrived during a brief moment of normality. restaurants are open and masks are not required outside, and we'll be sticking to the local
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rules. napoli is a truly thrilling city. the second you arrive you're engulfed by a truly magnificent chaos. and there's no fighting it. people here do things their own. take the energy of new york, mix in the gritty elegance of new orleans, add 3,000 years of history and cook it all up in the heat of the world's most famous volcano. that is napoli. i'm stanley tucci. i'm italian on both sides, and i'm traveling across italy to discover how the food in each of this country's 20 regions is as unique as the people and their past. >> in the south we are very used to fight. >> the people who live in this region have their own way of doing things. >> for me this is our philosophy. this is how we start our tradition. >> they've given the world its
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favorite food. just don't forget where it was invented. ♪ >> if pizza was going to be born anywhere it would be here in naples. the city is hot, fast and a feast for the senses. naples is situated in campania. a region of volcanic landscapes, magical islands and the world famous amalfi coast. the southern sun nurtures tomatoes that are the envy of
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the world. and out in the hills buffalo produced the milk for the finest mozzarella. but pizza wasn't born from the lush hills. it came from the darkest poorest streets of naples. and its story combines two of italy's favorite subjects -- food and death. >> italy's historic volcano bursts into the most fearsome and devastating eruption. at least once in every century. >> the volcano's just sort of ever present threat, isn't it? >> it is. because it is on the landscape. you always watch it. you always have it in your mind and in your eyes. >> professor elizebeta lives in the shadow of the the volcano. >> people live with the possibility of dying because there are volcanos, there are earthquakes, because there are
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epidemics so it's very hard for them. >> life can be tough in this volatile city. it's no wonder everywhere you go in naples you see handmaid shrines, keeping a light shining for loved ones who have died. this is all over the city you see this? >> yes, they are included in the architecture of the city. these are temples of memory. you remember the people of your family or your friends especially young people who died. >> coming from a southern italian family death was always talked about. i remember my grandmother used to call my mother. my mother would pick up the phone and she'd say -- >> you know who died? >> exactly. >> my grandma did the same. it was also a way for feeling alive. >> she's showing me the historic heart of the city. for hundreds of years the poorest people in naples were packed into these narrow streets. terrible sanitation meant that your life could be snatched from you at any moment by the brutal
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epidemic of their age, cholera. >> people really got scared because, you know, it was an epidemic like more or less the covid-19 virus, so you could transmit it very easily. >> right, right. cholera was spread by water and by food. so people here cooked pieces of bread in hot oil. so the frying is simpler. >> it's simpler. it's easy. you can get a very good point of hygiene because, you know, frying really sterilizes everything. >> it was probably one of the few times in life that frying something might actually have been healthy for you. so this is where we're going to get fried pizza? all right.
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okay, so, pizza, ricotta. >> you know since a century her family's doing this. >> for a century. >> for a century. >> these streets were once full of places like this but fernanda is now the last of a historic heritage. it all puffs up, doesn't it? it's beautiful.
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all right, thank you. ready? this delicious pocket of history was pizza before pizza was pizza. with the -- with the pork and the ricotta -- >> yeah, it's very tasty. >> as we walk off some of those calories, elizebtha tells me how pizza was born. >> mostly they were selling bread with a little bit of fat on it, sometimes pepper because people were really poor. then at a certain point people here invented pizza.
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but for many years it was just a neapolitan taste and a neapolitan dish. >> because cholera also played a significant role in attitudes. >> it did for centuries. >> thankfully for us by the late 19th century the italian prejudice against naples and its food began to change. and eelizabetha is taking me to the place where according to legend in 1889 the italian queen ordered a pizza that went onto bear her name, the margerita. do you make pizza at home ever? >> in naples it's almost forbidden. the only problem is during lockdown. all the pizzerias were closed. the first day after the lockdown, 60,000 pizzas were made the same day. and they were not sufficient because everybody wanted a pizza. >> because they were so desperate. >> first the pizza and then the vaccine. >> in the streets of naples
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pizza grew out of one pandemic and sustained the city through another. what was born in a place consumed by death is now a food the entire world finds life affirming. (judith) at fisher investments, we do things differently and other money managers don't understand why. (money manager) because our way works great for us! (judith) but not for your clients. that's why we're a fiduciary, obligated to put clients first. (money manager) so, what do you provide? cookie cutter portfolios? (judith) nope, we tailor portfolios to our client's needs. (money manager) but you do sell investments that earn you high commissions, right? (judith) we don't have those. (money manager) so what's in it for you? (judith) our fees are structured so we do better when our clients do better. at fisher investments we're clearly different. for 175 years, new york life has been helping people act on their love. so they can look back and say, "we did good."
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♪ ♪ sfx: [sounds of fedex planes and vehicles engines] ♪ sfx: [sounds of children laughing and running, life moving forward] in this city of pizza makers there is a man whose reputation towers over the town like vesuvius. enzo coacha wrote the globally
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recognized standards for making the best neapolitan pizza in the world. and was the first pizzola to be recognized by the michelin's guide. the only thing he loves more than pizza is naples itself. before he makes me a pizza the maestro needs to go shopping. and who needs a store when you can go straight to the source? buffalo were brought to work in the southern italian land by air arab conquers almost a 1,000 years ago. and early each morning their milk is turned into the finest
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mozzarella . this masked man is acknowledged one of the greatest cheese makers in northern italy. once this morning's collection of buffalo milk is heated, mimo adds rennic to separate the curds and the whey. the results are incredible. it's like he's a magician. in italian mozare means to cut off, and this ancient process gives the cheese its name. the mozzarella then rests in a
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salt bath for a few hours. unlike other cheeses which get better with age, mozzarella is best eaten fresh. which is great news for me. oh, my god . so if you're going to make the greatest pizza in naples once you have the best mozzarella, you need the perfect tomato. there's a place whose name is whispered in awe by pizza fans everywhere from brooklyn to bangkok, and enzo is taking me there.
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as a pizza lover i only ever buy cans of san marzano tomatoes. and now i'm heading to promised land. although i hadn't quite expected it to be a small farm under a freeway. we're meeting enzo's special supplier, uncle enchenzo. treasures had to be found in the most unlikel y locations. i've eaten sun marzano tomatoes
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all around the world, but the bright, balanced flavor of these is nothing like i've eve r tasted .
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variety using the san marzano name are grown everywhere from new jersey to new zealand, but only the tomatoes grown right here are fed by the nutrient-rich soil gifted by our old friend looming on the horizon. after our little shopping trip, we're back in the city. and finally, finally the maestro is making a pizza for me.
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mass-produced pizza brands always add sugar, fat and flavoring. but in napoli it's just water, flour, salt, yeast and a lot of skill. the crushed san marzanos from uncle vinchenzo go on first. next the creamy nuggets of mozzarella to counteract the sharpness of the tomatoes. and a final flourish, to add saltiness and fragrance. and then in a matter of moments food magic happens .
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it's delicious. perfect, perfect. pizza making is one tradition we all hope will never die out and that the pizza aoli of naples will always keep the flame of pure, simple perfection burning. which makes the smooth tea taste better, and time together even better.
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♪ so this isn't what it looks like. let me explain. in this city it sometimes seems like everyone's making up their own rules, but somehow the place hangs together. i'm meeting the man who tries to keep some order here, chief of the municipal police captain capuano. in true neapolitan style he wants to explain how it works
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over coffee. the captain orders three coffees for the two of us. i figure he just really likes coffee. but paying for one extra is actually a hugely important tradition here in naples. it's called suspended coffee. and when a person in need shows up, the coffee seller gives them a free drink that their fellow citizen paid for earlier. that's nice. the people of naples have unofficial ways of helping each other out that go back centuries. they suspend essentials like coffee, food and even toys for
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families that can't afford them. compana is the second poorest country in italy. the power mafia here known as -- is only too ready to swoop in. poverty and crime has always been a part of life in the city. but in the 1960s an experiment to improve things went badly wrong. 5 miles from the city center a new world was built. it was called scampia.
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the poorest were moved out of those dark slums into futuristic new homes. but the dream quickly turned into a nightmare. the place neither had jobs nor transport. and people here were trapped. crime gangs stepped in with the state had failed. drugs were sold on the streets, and things got so bad even the police stayed away. ordinary residents were caught in the middle. more recently a new chapter in the neighborhood's history began when hundreds of nomadic travelers called the romany people arrived. they came from eastern europe and setup camp under a freeway here. the romany sought a better life in italy and have made their home here despite no access to running water or electricity .
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all across this neighborhood thousands of people like samantha saw their lives going to waste, unfairly labeled as criminals while the authorities turned their backs. but still this is napoli and people look out for each other in creative ways. >> we decided to make a small revolution through the kitchen. >> in a hut on the edge of scampia local activist ema and her friends realized that they had a talented community of neapolitan and romany women each
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with unique food traditions and decided to take matters into their own hands. >> in the south we're very used to fat. this is i think a very south italian quality. >> that small idea grew into something astonishing. the hut is long gone. it's now a restaurant and catering company based in a large disused building here. samantha got a job as a cook here. her recipes proved so popular they now star on the menu.
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customers now come to scampia from across the city to taste the delicious fusions of romany and neapolitan food they create here. this place receives no government help, but the success of the social enterprise allows them to also offer child care and education to all the residents of scampia. this neighborhood still has huge problems, but in the face of unimaginable bleakness, the volunteers have opened up a space to mix food with talent. delicious, delicious. and create hope. this is just the most wonderful experiment but reality now,
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which is you've taken two cultures and brought them together with a frying pan. yeah. ♪ ♪ my life my life, my life, my life ♪ ♪ in the sunshine ♪ ♪ ♪everybody loves the sunshine♪ ♪ ♪ feel, what i feel, when i feel, what i feel ♪ ♪ when i'm feelin' ♪ ♪ in the sunshine ♪ ♪ we are the thrivers. women with metastatic breast cancer. our time... ...for more time... ...has come. living longer is possible- and proven in postmenopausal women taking kisqali plus fulvestrant. in a clinical trial, kisqali plus fulvestrant helped women live longer with hr+, her2-
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the greatest joy of traveling is that sometimes you discover a place by chance, and it winds up staying with you for the rest of your life. 14 years ago my late wife kate and i took a ferry from naples to the island just an hour away.
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one night we went to a family run restaurant where they served food we never expected to have on an island in the gulf of naples. i try to come back whenever i'm lucky enough to have the chance, and the family's eldest, sylvia, is meeting me at the dock. >> welcome. >> nice to see you. >> yes. now we start your adventure. are you ready? >> i'm ready. now, you may well be thinking time for a beautiful drive along the coast for some tasty seafood, but no. this restaurant stands defiantly away from the seaside crowds through the woods and halfway up a mountain. iskia is one of a handful of volcanic islands just off
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naples. tourists started coming here in the '60s to enjoy the waters. but before that it was pierts who started washing up on the shore. so island families chose to live up in the safety of the mountains. and instead of catching fish they caught rabbit. the place is overrun with them. and -- is famous across italy. in the states we rarely eat rabbit now, but the deliciously lean meat draws the crowds up here to the secluded restaurant. but before we can eat it -- do you want me to open this? >> yes, please. >> we have to catch it. above the restaurant wild rabbits are caught with an ingenious and sustainable method the islanders have been using for centuries. a pit is dug close to the rabbit hole and tasty food is thrown
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down to the tempt them out. fragrant leaves and berries are especially selected to add flavor to the rabbit's meat. >> the taste comes from -- >> into the meat. >> naturally. >> then all you have to do is hop in, catch one and i'll spare you the rest. sylvia's brother runs the kitchen. he's brilliant at bringing out the best flavors from the wild game here. he's worked at some of the finest restaurants in new york and london, but he came home to apply his skills to traditional rustic cooking. the last time i saw him i ran into him in the streets of new york. he was in a bad way. no, i'm kidding. but that was a long time ago now. but i love rabbit. i cook it at home a lot. and the thing about rabbit -- >> this rabbit is wild.
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we put olive oil. garlic. after we start to put rabbit, okay? i like you put the garlic in as a whole. >> yeah. and now white wine. >> that's beautiful. >> the ingredients is very simple. tomato, herbs, garlic, white wine, olive oil. >> knowing how to make the best of what you have is vital up here. while the rabbit cooks i notice something i've never seen before. the nona of the family loreta is showing the grandchildren how to
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tie tomatoes in local vines. today the restaurant is closed, but i'm honored to be invited to family lunch. this is the first time the family has come together since their father passed away earlier this year during lockdown. cheers. it's an emotional time but also one of celebration. oh, my god. as delicious as the food is, traditional cooking like this also tells you the story of a place, how they lived and what was important to them. for as long as anyone can remember there's been a strict hierarchy as to how ischia's
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rabbit is served. you're very kind. thank you. sadly, in this traditional hierarchy, the mother of the family is left with the bony neck and skull. the neck side, right. traditional food like this connects us and makes us part of a bigger story. that's why even today families
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across ischia sit down every sunday to enjoy a rabbit in a pot together. (judith) at fisher investments, we do things differently and other money managers don't understand why. (money manager) because our way works great for us! (judith) but not for your clients. that's why we're a fiduciary, obligated to put clients first. (money manager) so, what do you provide? cookie cutter portfolios? (judith) nope, we tailor portfolios to our client's needs. (money manager) but you do sell investments that earn you high commissions, right? (judith) we don't have those. (money manager) so what's in it for you?
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as if the awe-inspiring majesty of vesuvius aren't enough just a mile outside naples some of the most famous and fabled landscape on earth begins. the amalfi coast. it's the backdrop for a thousand movies and a once in a lifetime vacations. and home to a restaurant where i had a simple zucchini and pasta dish that honestly changed my life. i've been longing to come back. the family have agreed to show me how it's done. my wife has come to join me, and we're in one of the most beautiful places in the world. what could possibly go wrong? okay, so there's this once in a decade storm forecast, and
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everyone's taking shelter. but that doesn't stop the morning delivery coming down from the family's farm up in the hills. every morsel grown by the father. pride of place this season is the star of my favorite dish, zucchini. the first time i had this dish i went into the kitchen to weedal out the recipe from his daughter's who makes the dish. we've had it at home every week, but it's never as good. the chef is giving me a master class and my wife has even flown in to make sure we get it right. we came here two years ago. this is the reason why we're in this restaurant. >> we have made it every day since. >> we love this dish. >> and everyone always thinks there's garlic in it or onion. it's just the sweetness of the
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zucchini. >> he put it in. >> we missed it. >> the chopped zucchini are fried in sun flour oil and that's our first mistake. we need about 3 gallons more than we've been using at home. >> we've been laboriously frying them. hours of our life. >> literally hours. >> once fried tomaso leaves the zucchini over night to fatten up. >> i feel like we've been doing a lot. >> tomaso then heats up the zucchini. >> look at that amazing -- >> beautiful, yeah. >> and finally a whole ingredient they didn't even tell us about.
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>> so basically -- >> see, i asked your sister two years ago. i said do they put butter. where's antonia? >> yes, a little bit of butter. >> you didn't tell me that. i'm so upset. oh, my god. >> oh, look at that. >> okay, maybe it wasn't deliberate, but then why wouldn't you want to keep a recipe this good to yourself? >> people come all around the world -- >> just for that. it's crazy. this is too exciting. >> amazing. >> oh, my god, look at that. >> 20 minutes of ecstasy. >> even better than i remember.
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and such a simple dish and you make it so beautifully. it's just one of the best things i've ever had in my life. >> thank you so much. >> antonia, thank you so much. thank you. we'll just be inside eating carbs. . >> any other day this sun drenched spot is buzzing with diners thrilled be eating in one of the most beautiful places on earth. but as the storm clouds roll in for the first time this year, every single one of the expected 300 customers today has canceled. by evening felicity, the film crew and i are the only guests. rather than allow all this incredible food to go to waste they're making a feast for all the brave souls still here. while the kitchen team works serenely, the film crew helped
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me capture some views of the famous amalfi coast you won't normally see on a postcard. isn't this so >> until nature sends us all running back inside. it's like hail the size of amalfi lemons just came down. holy shit. you know, i've had dreams about having this place all to myself, being brought platters of beans, mushrooms, and olives from the family farm. fried squid, zucchini flowers and muscles au gratin, but i didn't expect it to be in quite these circumstances. here nature can be cruel, but it also can be very kind indeed.
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♪ the storm has passed. the natural order has been restored, and it's another
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heavenly day here on the amalfi coast. i've traveled along to the little town of minori, known for one of the most beloved desserts in italy, a blast of southern sunshine in a creamy light cake. it's called delizie al limone. or lemon delight. to make it, you need to head for the hills. [ speaking italian ] >> up in the lemon groves above minori, i'm meeting the man who introduced the unique amalfi lemons to the dessert and became one of the most famous pastry chefs in italy as a result, sal de riso.
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>> no, it's incredible. >> these lucky lemons are an ancient hybrid of bitter and sweet citrus fruits, and the locals put them in everything they can. >> cheers. grazie. >> we head down to sal's shop on the shore, where every year thousands of tourists take a break from the natural wonders of the coast to gasp at some manmade culinary marvels.
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at a time when italian desserts were dominated by northern and french creations, sal put the south of italy firmly on the map by capturing the essence of this place in one particular cake, lemon delight. so we know where the lemons come from, but how do you get the delight? >> jesus, all right. of course, cream. three creams, in fact. and for good measure, you fill the cake with cream. you just take it right in. and when the creams are mixed, you add more cream and more
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cream and more cream. a splash of lemon liqueur. >> oh, my god. but how does he get that delicate, smooth coating? no. really? i thought you were going to do something incredibly elegant. but, yeah. a little swirl of cream to finish and a pinch of amalfi lemon zest. >> okay. okay. okay. >> okay. >> and i love lemon.
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i love lemon, but that's like -- ♪ >> well, wife had coffee and now dessert. so what better way to independent my journey to campana than with a glass of local limoncello made with amalfi lemons, of course. friends, probably after gorging on campana's other great contribution to the world, pizza. wherever we are, the food of this place can't help but bring us together. >> cheers.
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chin-chin. america is at a reckoning. for more than 250 years we have battled racial injustice and political division. in times of crisis, we look to the past for examples of bold leadership. >> lincoln, of course, is the most admired american president. >> if there is anyone who lived, breathed and walked the basic ideas around which america is built, it was abraham lincoln.


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